Te Papa collections

Giant Squid.  Source: Te Papa Collections

Adrian Kingston, Reusing Te Papa’s collection images, by the numbers, Te Papa Blog, 10 April 2015

In June last year we began making high-resolution images available for download, for collection items where copyright (or cultural rights) would allow us. We went live with 14,000 images under a Creative Commons licence, and 17,000 under No Known Copyright Restrictions statement. You can find out a bit more about what those statements mean on the blog from the launch.


We’re releasing more and more as we can, as we digitise more, acquire more, or clarify copyright for others. We’re now up to over 20,000 under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND, and over 25,000 under No Known Copyright Restrictions.

Well that’s great you say, but is anyone actually using these images? Well, yes, yes they are.

There’s a couple of way to look at this; pure numbers, which are useful for some people but can be meaningless without context; and stories and examples, which are a bit more relatable. Let’s start with the numbers (and some graphs).


It’s been nearly 10 months since launch, and we’ve had nearly 14,000 downloads of nearly 8,000 images. We were hoping for around 5,000 images a year downloaded, so we’re pretty stoked. And the rate of downloads hasn’t really slowed down either. After a big launch, we’re still getting around 1000 downloads a month, with no ongoing publicity. We’ll continue to monitor this to see if the trend continues or changes, as we add more images to be available for download.

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